Inlet

Rankin Inlet (pop. 3,026) is Nunavut's second largest community and once aspired to be the territory's capital, but lost in a plebiscite in 1995.

Rankin Inlet South takes in the western half of the community, including schools, the healing facility, health centre, Nunavut Arctic College, the hamlet office, airport, RCMP detachment and a handful of stores and other businesses.

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Locally, there's been an ongoing concern about the need for elder care. Construction of the 24-bed long-term care facility was slated to start in 2020. It's now set to start this year and should open by 2023.

In this riding Tagak Curley and Bobby Oolooyuk are challenging the incumbent Lorne Kusugak.

CBC has reached out to all candidates with a list of questions in Inuktut and English, as well as consulted candidates' own online campaign messages. The available information has been edited for length and clarity.

  • div">>Nunavut Votes 2021Read about who's running in Nunavut, and why, in our candidate tracker

Tagak Curley

Tagak Curley (Elections Nunavut)

Tagak Curley, born and raised on Southampton Island, became a founding member and first president of the Inuit Tapirisat of Canada, now Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. He then served as a member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories from 1979 to 1987. 

Curley was acclaimed for the Nunavut riding of Rankin Inlet North in the 2004 general election. He remained an MLA and minister until 2013. He then served as a vice-president at the Kivalliq Inuit Association from December 2017 to April 2021.

Curley said Rankin Inlet has fallen behind in policy discussion or consultations on serious issues, such as suicide prevention.

The birthing centre must also be restored in Rankin Inlet, he said.

Nunavut's most serious issues include the high unemployment rate, Curley said.

"Nunavut cannot be built by excluding Nunavummiut from public service jobs and construction trade jobs. The Government of Nunavut must make all construction contracts with binding trade and general labour provisions," he said.

Curley said he would serve, if chosen, in cabinet. "No comment on premier," he said.

Lorne Kusugak (incumbent)

Lorne Kusugak (Elections Nunavut)

Lorne Kusugak was born in Rankin Inlet and attended Sir John Franklin High School in Yellowknife.

He worked for 17 years with CBC Radio in Rankin Inlet, spent five years as executive director with the Kivalliq Inuit Association, and then worked as CEO for the Nunavut Implementation Training Committee. 

Kusugak was Rankin Inlet's mayor for six years before he was elected MLA in 2008. He spent his first term as a cabinet minister, ending up as government house leader and the minister of Community and Government Services. 

Kusugak narrowly lost the 2013 election, winning his seat again in 2017, after which he served as minister of community and government services and human resources.

Most recently he served as Nunavut's health minister.

Kusugak said he's running again because he wants to see projects, such as the elders' facility in Rankin Inlet, move ahead. He also wants to promote the "closer to home" philosophy of health care, which would see the birthing centre in Rankin Inlet reopen.

Among his other priorities: to push for a territorial mental health care facility and dialysis care, and more housing. "There's too much couch-surfing," he said.

Overall, Kusugak said he wants to see the territorial government look at more proactive moves to meet the needs of its residents. Kusugak said he would do that whether or not he is elected to cabinet. Asked about being premier, he said his first goal is to be re-elected.

Bobby Oolooyuk

Bobby Oolooyuk (Elections Nunavut)

Bobby Oolooyuk did not respond to CBC's questions. 

Source : https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/rankin-inlet-south-candidates-nunavut-votes-2021-1.6208403

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